AMERICA/GUATEMALA - Bishops on possible agreement with Trump on migrants: "would cause serious damage regarding the good and sovereignty of the country"

Monday, 15 July 2019 emigration   episcopal conferences  

Guatemala City (Agenzia Fides) - In the imminency of a probable agreement between the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, with Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales, on the subject of migration that would make Guatemala a "safe third country" for asylum seekers waiting to see their request fulfilled in the United States, the Bishops’ Conference of Guatemala (CEG) in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides asks: "to desist from signing agreements that would be seriously damaging for the good and sovereignty of the country; the migration issue, both for our migrants and for those who pass through our territory must be considered of the highest importance, both by the public sector and by all our societies".
The communiqué, signed by the President and the Secretary of CEG on July 13, has as its title the biblical verse "My father was a wandering Aramaean" (Deut 26, 5). In the text the Bishops express "their enormous concern in the face of the consequences of this agreement that would further sharpen the difficult situation of migrants in our country, people looking at the north for opportunities denied to them here. Government action should focus on their responsibility to provide the population with a minimum of opportunities for a dignified life".
Furthermore, the CEG is convinced that Guatemala would not be able to absorb migrants from other countries and those who will be forced to wait here for a response from the United States, providing them with security, health care, adequate housing and possible sources of work.
Finally, the Bishops express "their great concern for the lack of transparency with which the subject was treated, when it is of great public importance and affects the whole country" and the fear "facing an evident imposition that would mean a transfer of sovereignty and would cause serious damage to the people of Guatemala". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/7/2019)